Increase renewable energy, ministers told

More effort is needed if Britain is to meet its own renewable energy targets, the government has been told.

The Committee on Climate Change said ministers should work to ensure to increase the share of renewable energy to 15% by 2020.

The warning came in a letter from committee chairman Adair Turner to energy secretary Chris Huhne on Friday (10 September).

The 15% target for 2020 should neither be reduced nor increased, it says. But at the moment, only 3% of energy used is from renewable sources.

“Meeting the 2020 renewable energy target requires a step change in the rate of progress,” the letter warns.

As a matter of urgency, the government should focus on reducing the risk that the target will be missed.

The letter says ministers must ensure that any changes to the planning framework do not undermine renewable energy projects.

The government should address any unnecessary delays to the approval of projects, including uncertainty over financial support.

Electricity market arrangements and banding of the renewables obligation must provide adequate support for renewable projects, says the letter.

Uncertainties over the future proposed Renewable Heat Incentive should also be resolved as soon as possible, it adds.

This should ensure support is set at an appropriate level to pull through investment from currently very low levels.

The government is due to publish its response and a review into renewable energy creation during spring 2011.